Experiencing a car accident is a life-changing experience that can leave you unsure of how to proceed. Between medical care, handling car repairs, and dealing with the emotional turmoil that follows, the process of returning to normal life can be challenging and expensive.
Data from the Department of Safety & Homeland Security states that over 175,000 car crashes have occured in Tennessee in 2020, resulting in roughly 40,000 injuries. Out of these Tennessee accidents, nearly 24,000 happened in Davidson county alone. These statistics are daunting and, regardless of how safe you are on the road, you can never completely avoid the risk of experiencing a car crash.
Car accidents are a highly common occurrence and thus it is responsible to be an educated driver who is familiar with their rights and responsibilities following a car crash. The most important step after experiencing an accident is to document all information regarding the crash. Collecting the other driver's insurance information, taking photographs of any damage, and seeing a medical professional to document your injuries are imperative first steps to receiving the settlement that you deserve.
It is always advised to consider consulting an experienced attorney to discuss your options and ensure that you are receiving fair compensation for any damage or injury that was sustained during the accident. Expert personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law are here to help ensure that you receive the settlement you deserve. Contact our legal team for a free consultation today at (615) 338-9500.
Determining an Average Car Accident Settlement
Like many other states, Tennessee has laws that govern the settlement process after a car accident. It begins by filing a claim, which then leads to a period of investigation, and eventually a settlement offer. The settlement offer may or may not be accepted, which can lead to a period of counter-offers and negotiating until a fair amount is agreed upon by both parties involved in the accident.
Several factors contribute to car accident settlements and compensation after a crash depends on a range of factors. Insurance agencies do not have a formula to follow in determining the monetary payout after a car crash, primarily because every case is unique. However, there are some factors that should be taken into consideration when determining the average settlement for a car accident, such as:
- Damage to vehicle
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
While most of these factors are straightforward and easy to calculate, determining the full amount of a typical car accident settlement involves more than just the tangible numbers. Under Tennessee law, pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages, and encompass issues like mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and emotional distress. These damages are more difficult to prove in a settlement case, and require specific evidentiary support in order to receive compensation for them in your settlement.
Comparative Fault in Tennessee
Tennessee follows a modified version of the comparative fault system, meaning victims of a car accident can receive compensation even if they were partly at fault for the accident. Comparative fault allows an individual to file a lawsuit for compensation as long as they were not found to be over 50% at fault for the collision.
How Much Can You Expect In A Settlement?
You can calculate the baseline settlement amount by adding up the amount spent on car repairs and medical bills as well as the total amount of wages lost in the time spent recovering from the accident. For example, an accident may result in $3,000 worth of repairs and $10,000 in medical bills, which is added to the wages lost after missing a few weeks of work, say $4,000. The expenses related to this specific accident are $17,000, without accounting for pain and suffering or any potential long-term disability. This provides a baseline for how much you can expect in a settlement.
Typically, the average settlement amount is 3x more than the baseline expenses. Taking into account the overall severity of the accident, a settlement can reach over 5x the amount of expenses. Injuries that cause severe pain or long-term health problems generally result in a higher settlement amount. It is important to note that these are just averages, and should not be taken to mean that your case will follow exactly according to these prior statistics involving other car accidents.
It is difficult to predict the monetary amount of noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, however, which is why it is advised to seek professional legal assistance to get a clearer picture of settlement amounts.
When To File a Car Accident Settlement Lawsuit
Under Tennessee Code Section 28-3-104, you must file a car accident lawsuit within one year after any accident involving personal injury. Moreover, Tennessee Code Section 28-3-105 necessitates filing a lawsuit involving vehicular or property damage within three years. Failure to comply with the governing legislation can result in the inability to file a claim altogether.
After filing a car accident settlement lawsuit, the process of receiving compensation depends on a variety of factors and can take anywhere from a few weeks to over a year. When the case involves serious injuries, a settlement is generally not reached until all medical treatment is completed in order to ensure that the case is valued appropriately. Additionally, the timeframe of a car accident settlement lawsuit can be longer or shorter depending on the insurance company. Some adjusters work quickly, while others move more slowly and take significant time to negotiate and offer a fair settlement amount.
Consider Consulting With an Experienced and Dedicated Personal Injury Attorney
Navigating the process of settlement can be time-consuming and arduous, and every car accident settlement case is unique. Since each case presents a different set of facts which creates a complex challenge in determining the amount of compensation owed to the injured individual.
If you experienced a car accident, do not wait for the other party to determine who should be held responsible and how much you should receive in a settlement. Contact an expert Labrum Law personal injury attorney at (615) 338-9500 to discuss your car accident settlement today.